Thursday, July 14, 2011

It Started Quietly

It started quietly,
Bubbling up from deep within;

Trickling through the cracks
Between veins

Like water
Silently eroding stone.

I learned to love you
Most poignantly

When the waters rolled

I was the river guide

None of us fell in
But somehow...

Both of us did.

(c) Kathryn W. Ritter
July 14, 2011 11AM

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Memory of Trees

What must it be
to stand forever still,

swayed only

by long-drawn winds

that creaked in your arms

as your leaves turned up their
silvergreen bellies

to the walking world?

(c) Kathryn W. Ritter
July 10, 2011


When I was a girl I spent a good deal of time in the woods behind our house, with a handmade collection bag for things like muskadines and wild ginger and rocks, my walking stick, and a book.
I remember many afternoons in my reading-places in the woods, sitting absolutely still just to listen to what was going on in the woods around me--to notice everything and try to find a meaning in some of it.  I had a vague meditative fantasy that if I stayed there long enough, perhaps I would grow "tree-ish".  Maybe in a way I did, because trees still have a powerful hold on my imagination, creativity and even emotional well-being.  I have always loved trees most of all, among all plants and things that grow. In one of my favorite books, The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien, there is such deep and meaningful tree-lore. I think, just as Tolkien saw himself as an elf for his whole life, I might have begun to imagine myself as a dryad when I was a little girl--and maybe it stuck. That was partly why our move away from Southern tall trees to Texas was so difficult for me. I felt vulnerable and uncomfortable for the first few months.
In many ways I think trees speak to all of us.  We perceive them as strong, long-lived, and wise--symbols of hope and courage.  Deciduous trees are reborn every spring and remind us that everything, even death, is really about life.  They give us hope; they live and give in sweet and solemn beauty.  And ultimately, at the core of all tree-lore and symbolism, One tree--the tree of the Cross--brought forth the hope of another, even more majestic; the Tree of Life.

Have a beautiful Sunday, friends.

I Saw a Hummingbird

I saw a hummingbird
and thought of you;

The feeder
you always kept full

Has been empty now
all season.

The small bird looked
confused, like me--
I went outside, barefoot,
to the feeder tree--

Then came inside and cleaned
and filled the glass
With sweet red nectar,
as you would have done.

Glad to hear you scold and smile again, too--
I saw a hummingbird

And thought of you.

(c) Kathryn W. Ritter
July 10, 2011 12:20 pm

Saturday, July 2, 2011

In Sixty Years' Time

My grandmother waited nearly twenty years,
missing him.

The only Rosie Riveter small enough
Even while seven months pregnant
To set rivets from inside the airplane wings.

The girl who tap-danced
Up and down stairs
On roller skates--
The tiny fierce
you-don't-mess-with Mabel
Southern Alabama
beach-loving girl

Caught in an old woman's body,
A tired woman's cares.

She lived life best when she could Do--
Any useful something...Laundry,
Ironing, Wash or Cook

Watching songbirds, playing Upwords,
Checking daily mail;
Watching for letters we all wish now
we'd sent
So she'd have walked up the drive again
With wider smiles every day.

How will it be
In Sixty years time
To look back on the days
of our goldenhood?

(c) Kathryn W. Ritter
May 22, 2011 Sunday 2:30 pm